Hydrocodone Vs. Oxycodone

Many people are unaware of the difference between oxycodone versus hydrocodone. Both medications are narcotics that are classified as controlled substances. Although they have similar side effects and drug interactions, they are different drugs. Oxycodone is generally considered to be more potent than hydrocodone. It is also available as a single-ingredient medication or in combination with other active ingredients, while hydrocodone only comes in combination products.

Hydrocodone Versus Oxycodone: The Similarities

Oxycodone and hydrocodone are both prescription medications. They are chemically very similar. Both are narcotics. Both are classified as controlled substances, meaning they have significant abuse potential. They have similar side effects, drug interactions, and warnings.
Both hydrocodone and oxycodone are available in generic form and are relatively inexpensive (in generic form). Both are available in several different strengths. Alcohol should be avoided (or, at the very least, limited) while taking either drug. Both medications can be very dangerous in the case of an overdose.

Hydrocodone Vs. Oxycodone: The Differences

Oxycodone is generally considered to be more potent than hydrocodone (although some people may find hydrocodone to work better, due to individual differences in how people react to medications). Oxycodone is available as single-ingredient medications or in combination with other active ingredients, while hydrocodone only comes in combination products.
All hydrocodone medications are Schedule III controlled substances, while oxycodone medications are all Schedule II controlled substances. This suggests that oxycodone medications have a higher abuse potential, compared with hydrocodone. It also means that the prescribing rules are different. For instance, prescriptions for hydrocodone combination medications can be phoned or faxed to a pharmacy and may have refills, while oxycodone prescriptions must be given to a pharmacy in the original "hard copy" and cannot have refills. This also means that healthcare providers are usually more hesitant to prescribe oxycodone, compared with hydrocodone.
Of course, there may be significant variation in how a particular individual reacts to oxycodone vs. hydrocodone. Some people may find one to be more effective or more tolerable than the other, but there is really no good way to predict which medication will work best for any particular person.
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